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An assessment of the importance of marine life to human societies during the last two millennia, with a focus on understanding the consequences of marine resource exploitation for societal development.

How did marine life affect and alter societies of the past? This is one of the key questions the EU-funded 4-OCEANS project will seek to answer by investigating the importance of marine life for human societies during the last two millennia, from 100 BCE to 1860 CE. Bringing together expertise from marine environmental history, climate history, natural history, geography, historical ecology, genomics and zooarchaeology, the project will conduct the first-ever global assessment of the role of marine life in societal development and will consider how selected socio-economic, cultural and environmental forces limited as well as enabled marine exploitation.

  • This project is funded by the European Research Council and European Commission.